Re: [3.5e] Newbie looking to play with magic
For a first character, if someone wants to go arcane spellcaster... or any spellcaster, to be honest... I ALWAYS recommend Sorcerer. I also suggest they ask the DM if he'll be a little lenient in allowing switching of spells known, at least at first, as the new player grows into his character.
I find the easiest way to go is with a human sorcerer, picking up Point Blank Shot and Precise Shot. There's a lot of nice rays, and these two feats combine to A) Add accuracy and B) Reduce problems involving party members in combat with your target. For nice usable rays, look at Ray of Enfeeblement and Scorching Ray, just from first and second level spells respectively. Point Blank Shot will also add a comparably significant amount of damage to Ray of Frost/Acid Splash, if you're starting at 1st level, 1d3+1 is proportionately nicer than just 1d3.
Try and keep a decent fort, reflex, and will save around - Grease is a nice reflex save, as is Web, though Web is higher level. Glitterdust, as mentioned, is nice for Will. And Scorching Ray will make for nice damage, if you need to do it, once you hit level 4. At either third or sixth level, I'd pick up Heighten Spell, so you can keep your save-or-sucks known to a minimum, casting Glitterdust as a 4th level spell instead of having to know it AND a 4th level Will is very helpful.
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